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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • POUR IT ON: WWII POSTER

B-17 Bomber Crew

B-17 Bomber Crew

Shared by JimEichholz: My great uncle Paul Salk (kneeling 2nd from left) together with the rest of his bomber crew in front of their B-17. He was a tail-gunner. Later he moved to a B-29, and unfortunately died in a rendezvous accident with another B-29. Photo was taken in early 40s. View full size.

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Fading away?

Looking at such photos now—75 years later—they seem so far back in the past. My own dad was a merchant seaman throughout the war, barely surviving a Kamikaze attack in the western Pacific in 1944. (It's a rarely known statistic that the Merchant Marine lost the highest percentage of its members during WWII.) My father's been gone for 30 years now and these pictures evoke his memory when I see them. Every one of those me in the photos was someone's son, or husband, or sweetheart.

Another relative accident

Thanks very much for sharing this picture of your great-uncle. I'm very sorry to hear that he didn't survive the war, as so many didn't. I just barely found a picture, online, of the crew of the B-24 my mother's cousin was on. Since it's not mine and I can't post it, alone, I hope you don't mind if I share it here in the comments. My mother's cousin, Lowell Smead, is second from right, front row.

The family was told that Lowell was lost in a volunteer suicide mission. However, 15 years ago, I found that it was an accident, like with your uncle. The bomber, the "Dirty Gertie" was headed out on a routine bombing mission, when it suddenly exploded. This was witnessed by the crews of other bombers. Those young men demonstrated tremendous courage, just by getting in those planes, especially when they were full of explosives!

Nice tribute

So many people know little or nothing about relatives who have fought and/or died for out country, even as recent as Vietnam. Men like your uncle gave up a half century of life for us. The least we can do is remember them! My mother had a cousin who was a gunner on some sort of plane that crashed and killed him. His came was Lowell Smead.

The Brave

Faces of my liberators. In my lovely Normandie, you have so numerous places where a heavy fall down, while trying to reach England, or while bombing a strategic place. So many young lives lost; my heart cries everytime.

Great picture

It really takes you back to that time.

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